Water Supply Outlook for Alberta

April 2003

Red Deer River Basin - Water Supply Forecasts

Natural runoff volumes for the March to September 2003 period are forecast to be much-below-average for the Red Deer River basin, ranging from 58 to 65 % of average, due to below-average snowpack in the higher elevations and severely dry soil conditions (Table 5a). Current forecasts are higher than last month's forecasts (by 6 to 7%) due to normal to above-normal precipitation and plains snowmelt runoff during March. The current forecasted volumes for the March to September 2003 period for the Red Deer River basin are very similar to the volumes recorded over the same time period last year and slightly higher (by 3 to 6%) than those recorded in 2001. Current forecasted volumes would rank 12th lowest in 84-years of record (1912-95) at Red Deer.

The first month of the forecast period has been completed, with March 2003 recorded runoff volumes ranging from 95 to 111 % of average, due to the quick melting of the plains and foothills snowpack. The remaining volume forecast, which is the March to September 2003 forecast minus the recorded volume to date, is available in Table 5b.

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